What is it?
SAMe is an abbreviation for S-Adensyl Methionine, which is an essential amino acid that is used as a supplement for liver support, osteoarthritis, depression, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, migraine headaches, and to increase bile flow.
Other names for SAMe include: S-Adensyl Methionine, L-Methionine, Adomet, and Ademethionine.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.
Tell your doctor if you
- are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
- are breastfeeding
- have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease
Talk with your caregiver about how much SAMe you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking SAMe. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.
To store this medicine:
Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.
Drug and Food Interactions:
Do not take SAMe without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:
- Medicine used to treat depression or nerve pain (examples are: amitriptyline (Amitril(R), Elavil(R)); imipramine (Tofranil(R)); nortriptyline (Aventyl(R), Pamelor(R))
- Before taking SAMe, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Persons with bipolar (manic) depression should not take SAMe (1)
Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.
- Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
- Chest pain
- Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin
Other Side Effects:
You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.
- Upset stomach and vomiting has been reported with taking large amounts of SAMe (1)
- Headache and urinary frequency (4)
1. Murray, MT, Pizzorno J: Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine 2nd ed. Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA; 1998.
2. Janicak PG, Lipinski J, Davis JM et al: Parenteral S-Adenosylmethionine in depression: A literature review and preliminary report. Psychopharmacology Bull 1989;25:238-241.
3. Vahora SA & Malek-Ahmadi P: S-adenosylmethionine in depression. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 1988;12:139-141.
4. Rosenbaum JF, Maurizio F, William E et al: An open-label pilot study of oral s-adenosylmethionine in major depression. Psychopharmacol Bull 1988;24:189-194.
5. Bell KM, Potkin SG, Carreon D et al: S-adenosylmethiomine blood levels in major depression: Changes with drug treatment. Acta Neurol Scan 1994;154(supp):15-18.
6. Muller-Fassbender H: Double-blind clinical trial of S-adenosylmethionine versus Ibuprofen in the treatment of osteoarthiritis. Am J Med 1987;83(suppl5A):81-83.
7. Marcolongo R, Giordano N, Colombo B et al: Double-blind muilticentre study of the activity of S-adenosyl-methiionine in hip and knee osteoarthritis. Curr Ther Res 1985;37:82-94.
8. Konig B: A long-term (two years) clinical trail with S-adenosylmethionine for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Am J Med 1987;83(suppl5A):89-94.
9. Padova C, Tritapepe R, Di Padova F et al: S-adenosl-L-methionine antagonizes oral contaceptive-induced bile cholesterol supersaturation in health women: Preliminary report of a controlled ramdomized trial. AM J Gastroentrol 1984;79:941-944.
10. Frezza M et al: Reversal of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy in women after high dose S-adenosyl-L-methionie (SAMe) administration. Hepatology 1984;4:274-278.
11. Iruela LM, Minguez L, Merino J et al: Toxic interaction of S-adenosylmethionine and clomipramine. Am J Psychiatry 1993; 150(3):522.
Last Updated: 1/4/2011